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What To Watch for When Buying an Older Home

While older homes often have more character and style than might be found in a new house, they can present unique problems for buyers. If you’re aware of some of the key concerns, you can make an informed decision about whether or not the old home you’re buying is worth the potential headaches.

Roof Damage

In many older homes the original roof may still be in place, and the expense of repairing or replacing it can be daunting. Sagging gutters, missing shingles and ceilings damaged by water are telltale signs of problems, but you’re likely not an expert in roofing. You’ll want to enlist the help of a contractor for roof repair Lake County Il or find one in your area to make a proper assessment.

Unsafe Materials

In the past it was common to use lead in paint or pipes, and asbestos was often a component in insulation. Now that these have been identified as hazardous substances, you’ll need to find out if they are present in the home you’re purchasing and arrange for their safe removal. Again, an expert should be sought before trying to tackle a project like this yourself.

Plumbing Problems

In addition to lead pipes, any number of plumbing issues can impact an older home. Piping can deteriorate over time and leave homes susceptible to water damage caused by leaks. Even landscaping can be a culprit when it comes to plumbing problems, as tree roots may bust their way into drainage systems in search of a water supply. Have a plumber inspect the entire system for damage or potential trouble areas.

Heating and Cooling Troubles

Everything from leaky windows to outdated equipment can impact an older home’s ability to hold hot and cold air at comfortable levels. While sealing cracks and installing blinds can be temporary fixes for window problems, the air conditioning and heating systems will likely require more expert attention. Older units will probably need to be replaced, not just to increase efficiency but also to improve safety. Outdated heaters and coolers can pose fire hazards and may even release hazardous chemicals into the home through vents. An experienced home inspector can provide you with an initial assessment of what needs to be addressed.

Because even the most charming older home may harbor some major problems, you should carefully evaluate its condition before committing to a purchase. Some major repairs or replacements may be required, and you’ll want expert advice to help make a smart decision.

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